Browser EmulatorsFor Cross-Browser Testing

Developers know well the fact that not all the browsers are alike. Today is the era of new and advanced browser applications. With the emergence of modern technology hundreds of thousands of new web applications have flooded the web. These applications have to work on mobile phones – iOS, Androids and Windows Phones,andon all other devices –PCs, Macs, and Tablets.Before you can deploy your application online you must perform cross-browser testing to ensure that your webapp is working perfectly fine indifferent browsers. For example, Slack, Facebook and Netflix have huge QA and web testing teams checking every change before they get pushed to production to millions of users. If one of the changes doesn’t work in one of the browsers, the losses can be huge (hundreds of thousands of dollars) because every person uses a different browser.

One of the ways to perform cross-browser compatibility is to use browser emulators to run tests. For example for Internet Explorer there’s IETester fake browser emulator. This emulator can simulate Internet Explorer versions from 6 to 11 but it isn’t the optimal method as browser simulators don’t always display the correct results (they’re simulators afterall and not real browsers.)3

There’s a much better way to perform browser compatibility testing using online web services. One of such services is Browserling. Browserling, being an established name in the world of cross-browser testing has come up with a unique tool that lets you test your websites in real browsers on real devices.3

Let’s look into Browserling in more details. This online web testing service not only produces quick and precise results but also provides great user experience. Once you’re in testing mode it’s easy to choose betweendifferent browsers. It takes just 5 seconds to switch browsers. For example, with just one click you can switch from real Internet Explorer 8, running on Windows XP to real Internet Explorer Edge running on Windows 10.

We all know that testing is a long and boring process and often it’s discarded from the list of testing methods due to its complexity and time required to perform tests. With Browserling this isn’t an issue because as I mentioned above it takes just 5 seconds to switch browsers. There’s no waiting time for computers to boot up, the browsers are always ready.

Browserling has evolved as a fast and affordable tool to perform browser tests. It has the capability to undergo testing on various platforms, including Androids, iOS and Linuxbrowsers. Switching between platforms also takes just 5 seconds.

Let’s compare IETesterbrowser emulators vs. Browserling.

Pros of browser emulators:

  • Free to download and use.
  • Runs very fast as it runs on your own computer.
  • You can resize browser emulator to perform responsive testing.

Cons of browser emulators:

  • Imprecise results because browsers are emulated.
  • Doesn’t support all browser features (also because browsers are not real).
  • JavaScript testing is affected because JS engine is also emulated and not native.

Pros of Browserling:

  • Provides real browsers on real computers.
  • Makes Internet Explorer testing produce real results as IEs are not emulated.
  • Lets you do Android and iOS testing.
  • Doesn’t require installation.

Cons of Browserling:

  • Costs money and is not free.
  • There’s network latency between Browserling’s servers and your computer.

Overall browsers emulators are great way to test basic websites (such as blogs, personal homepages, etc.) and Browserling is great to test advanced and complex websites (such as webapps).

Another benefit of using Browserling that I didn’t mention is free web developer tools that Browserling recently open-sourced. These tools help web programmersdevelopers to perform common programming tasks, such as beautifying json and generate a random strings. There are more than 100 tools so check them out.

Remember – some web testing is better than no testing. Whether you go with browser emulators or Browserling, you’re already ahead of 99% of competition that does no testing at all.

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